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tv   [untitled]    February 23, 2013 3:00am-3:30am PST

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it is a rear yard variance to allow the reconstruction and expansion of the deck and stairs, it will be relocated abuting the appellant's property. that subject property was built in 1890 that is planning to the planning code or any rear yard requirement and under the current planning code it encroaches into the required rear yard given the age of the building it was listed as a historic resource and a survey that does feature a substantial front set back, 14 feet from the front property line and the lot is wider than typical. 27 and a half feet wide and longer than typical, 110 feet or so in depth. but in the pattern in this neighborhood is actually for the wider lot the 27 and a half foot wide lot but actually with a longer depth. so the appellant's property is 137 and a half feet deep and
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their building extends almost the full depth of this property and that contains a five unit apartment building. so what they are proposing here is any work at the rear, given that it is a non-complying structure in the rear yard, any work to do decks, other than a deck that is no more than 3 feet above grade would require a variance, so they will be in a vair ans situation to do any kind of deck replacement here. what they have proposed is a reasonable proposal given the constraints on the lot and the buildings that i can put on the overhead. you have addressed this is not north, this is north to post street, so the appellant is located to the west. there is actually a blind wall and they don't have any windows on this wall and see what the impacts would be rather than locating it to the east would
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have more of an impact of the property which is a similar size and configuration and the variance was justified that it was given open space that was accessible for the living units and that is what it plans to seek to have is to have common, and usable open space that is accessible from each of the dwelling units and so they are proposing that with the proposed deck configuration. at the hearing, we had a hearing on this in july 25th of last year and the appellant came to the hearing and expressed concerns related to security and at the hearing tried to get the root of the concerns in and it seemed as i understand it, that the concerns were largely related to the tenants of the building, they own the building to the west and was concerned about the safety of someone coming up on to this deck and jumping on
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to the roof currently it is set back two inches from the building wall, and felt that afforded more protection. that is what they were requesting. the variance was less inclined to do that because of, it is not very convenient and there is more maintenance concerns and it was better to built it to the common line, i closed the public meeting and asked them to come to a resolution, and i think that a variance is supportable but the security issues could be imagined to be addressed in some way, the permit holder, the request gave a security gate on one of the stairs to prevent people from jumping in the rear yard. and jumping up and over on to the adjacent building. i felt that these were all kind of reasonable concessions. but the appellant was not satisfied and would prefer to
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have a set back. it is my understanding that if there was a set back he would be satisfied with this. i feel that a set back is not necessary. that does not address any security concerns. and i would respectfully request that the board up hold the variance decision. and i am available for any questions. thank you. >> is there any public comment on this item? >> seeing none, we will take rebuttal starting with mr. williams. >> thank you. members of the board. steve williams again. just quickly, let's go back to the measurements the current decks, they are 72 square feet. six by 12. this is taken from miss lam's
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roof. you have been told that they are 200 square feet and only adding a little bit to it and all that you have to do is look at the diagram and right now it goes down her roof line, it goes down her roof line about six feet. right about here. it is going to go down 14 feet. it is 14 by 12 in the new deck. i mean that it is absurd to tell you that it is the same size, it is not so, you have been given a lot of misinformation about what is proposed and what is being built. >> the egress issue, number one, the rule of egress you can't go back into the burning building. so if you look at the egress that they provide, they say that if you run into the rear yard and we return and run back
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through the burning building, the code is clear on that that that is not the proper egress. filling up your rear yard and just makes it more dangerous and that was my point, this building could never obtain code compliant egress. here is the other deck that they have cited as being adjacent, it is actually four properties away. and it is incredibly small. and that is the point here. is that all of the decks that they have pointed out as being in the neighborhood, deck, d, c, b, and a. they are all smaller than what is there now. it is not reasonable to build something larger. it is not reasonable to create a greater variance situation. we have not heard any testimony whatsoever about an extraordinary and exceptional circumstance. or about any hardship or loss of property rights. zero. and if a variance is granted,
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to actually increase the non-compliance which is what this is, if flies in the face of every code provision applicable and that is not reasonable.. they have a code complying yard and they have more than enough rear yard to safety the 25 percent bear minimum and they don't have rear decks, in fact very few, if you look around the neighborhood, very few people have the decks they don't show up on the maps because they are new to the neighborhood, to tear down the deck and building something so much father and out of compliance is a per version of the variance process. >> okay, three minutes. >> thank you. we do not enter, we do not
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reenter the burning building. and this is a standard process, it is something that is always allowed within san francisco. and there is a passage way. there is no entrance into the reentry into the buildings. so i just wanted to state that fact. and you know, it is a matter of perspective, i mean the appellant is showing you a google map, pictures. from space satellites, i am showing you the pictures that were taken from the deck and i can eye those decks, those adjacent decks and i can tell you that they are similar in size and that they do extend to the rear yard and so we are not asking for anything that our adjacent neighbors don't already have. and it is, you know, it is... we are basically reconfiguring. and so those square footages that i am siting in my brief that i am stating that the existing mass of the deck and
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the stairs is 406 square feet and the proposed mass of the deck and the stairs is 469 square feet. what does it matter if it is a deck or a stair to the appellant? they can't even see them. she has got a 20 and a half foot blank wall and we are set back at least 8 feet from that and the proposed deck and we are only going two feet further closer to her blank wall. so i don't understand the concern that she has other than you know we did have a meeting with her and we did, state what i thought was a very effective approach to her concerns about the safety, which i would like to say that i think that it perceived and i don't see how no one could get up the yard and climb up the stairs or the proposed stairs and climb on to her deck, that could be easily solves that was the only thing
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that was brought up during the hearing and that was her certain, not whether or not it impacted. we have got at least two, adjacent neighbors, that are in the mid block of open space that are approving this. and i want to see it happen because we are having most of an impact on the mid block open space. and that could clearly see in the photographs that are in my brief. so, thank you. >> i have a question. do you want to... >> the presentation? >> okay. >> good evening, my name is kevin and i am the own of 2521 post. well i just wanted to say, we have owned this for 9 years. and we care about the fact that it is a historic building. and we have actually spent a lot of money to paint the front of it so it gives a painted
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lady victory an and the design is meant to be a win/win for everybody from the neighborhood because we are trying to create something that replaces a deck and the security for the people who actually can see us. so i really don't understand why we have gone through the process to be very diligent to and concerned about the people who will be impacted. why alice cares because she lives two buildings away. she does not live in the building that is adjacent and she would have to be on the roof to have any sort of visual impact to the deck that we have or the deck that we would have. >> okay. >> i actually have a question. >> the zoning administrator mentioned a proposal on your part to provide some kind of security, could you tell me what that is >> a fence?
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>> we are proposing to put up a full height steel gate that will prevent anyone from gaining access. even though... >> on the second floor landing of the stair leading to the third level deck. but please keep in mind that no one can gain access to this backyard any way. there is a door that is locked at the passage way. >> i'm not really following. why would you put in a security door or a gate? >> i am not understanding that. >> that would prevent anyone from gaining access. it was a prowler that the appellant was mentioning that she perceived that a prowler could gain access to this backyard and climb the stairs and jump on to the roof. that is i could mention that anybody could do that right now any way. just moving this two feet. >> okay. >> thank you. >> yes. >> what is the distance between the top of the building and the level. >> it is six feet and so
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another solution would be the fire lock could, extend up six feet. >> her concerns concern that some could step on to the firewall and step on to her deck. >> take it all the way... >> so the people could not step on to it, that would solve the problem. >> that is helpful. >> thank you. >> mr. sanchez. >> thank you. scott sanchez, planning department. i will be brief and i just wanted to go over two things that the appellant had raised one was the size of the existing decks and just to clarify the dimensions were incorrect and maybe i could zoom in. it seems to be.
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>> the existing deck is 7 foot, two and a half inches deep and it is 14 foot, 7 inches wide and the appellant said the dimensions that were smaller and i think to be clear that the plans show something different than what the appellant stated. also the proposed deck varies by level but is 14-2, by 13-10 inches wide and in general and it varies again by the second level as not quite as deep. the third level is probably the largest. it is larger than the existing decks, but it, you know, it is not doubling the size of the deck. so, and again i think that again, it is abuting a blind wall on the appellant's property. the appellant has stated ha the building is code complying and i don't see that from the plans or the information that is available. it contains five units in the
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h3 zoning district and even if it was a larger lot they could do one per 1,000 they have over the density for the lot and subject to the same 45 rear yard requirement and adjacent properties and they based on the plan seem to only be providing a 25 percent rear yard. so i think that the building is non-compliant and non-conforming given the situation here. so, just wanted to correct those few matters but i don't see it on the plans and i am available for any questions and again, respectfully request that the board up hold the variance position. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> commissioners, the matter is submitted. >> i could start. >> go ahead. >> the issue before us is not the security issue and it is
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not the design, it is a very nice design. the issue is whether the zoning administrator errored in granting the variance and his rationale for granting the variance. and his response to the various criteria. >> neither addressed it from the presentation but i would say from my point of view i don't see that there is a criteria that has been met. i do not see that either exceptional hardship, or exceptional circumstances has been met. and i think i concur with one of the statements made earlier that a variance requires fairly high standards for the granting of it. the fact that it is a
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non-conforming building does not play much into my decision. what it does do is triggers the variance requirement because it is non-compliant. however, it is hard for me to get into exactly whether the others in the neighborhood are compliant or not comply apartment. we don't know their conditions and we don't know when they were built and how they were granted and what type of entitlement. we do know that this one here is asking for some things, beyond the code and i don't see that it has been compellingly argued to me that those conditions, that those criteria were met.
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>> >> i don't have a strong feeling one way or another. although, i do agree that there was not much argument regarding the criteria for the abuse and discretion standard for a variance. and at the same time, whether this... i would in looking at and reviewing the briefs and the presentations, it did not... i'm not convinced that there was an actual abuse of discretion under these circumstances. >> i think that a lot of the concerns from the properties that are or would be affected by the users of this deck were
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taken into consideration and if i would lean either way i would lean in the up holding of the decision. >> and i am leaning in your direction. >> i also agree that there is a blank wall that is there. either way. i would go to up hold the za decision. >> i will move to upheld and deny the appeal. >> i said with no error or abuse of discretion. >> okay.
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>> we have a motion from the president to up hold the granting of both variances on the basis that there was no error or abuse of discretion by the zoning administrator. on that motion, commissioner fung? >> no. >> and commissioner hurtado is absent. >> lazarus. >> aye. >> commissioner honda. >> aye. >> the vote is 3-1, and the variances are upheld on that basis. >> okay, thank you. we will move on then to items 8 a through d. appeal number 12-158 steven williams verses department of building inspection. 2395-26 avenue for all three
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appeals. appealing the issue ans on december 6, 2012, to howard west tonight of a permit to alter a building tenant improvement of commercial unit 1, new interior partition walls for four new offices one conference room and break room and upgrade the existing bathroom for ada compliance. appeal 166 ais appealing the issue ans of a building permit, a plumbing permit at unit number one, ada bathrooms sink in break room e12-167 is appealing the issue ans of the plumbing permit, number one, replace hater furnace and 168 is appealing the issue ans of an electrical permit commercial unit number one replace 24 new lights and 30 switches. these are all on for hearing today. mr. williams if you could switch gears and move into this next set.
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since there are four appeals, you will have 28 minutes. the board certainly does not necessarily require that you take all of that time, however. >> thank you . i'm sure that i will not need all of that time. this is a matter of information for the board. the reason that we appeal the electrical permits and the plumbing permits is because the work would not stop at the site. the work is still going on at the site. according to the neighbors. and that was the only way that we could actually get any in-roads and say that you don't have a single permit so there can't be any work. >> could you hold on just a second mr. williams? >> is mr. duffy here? >> i think that he should hear the questions that are being raised.
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>> why don't you start over again, mr. williams. >> thank you. >> i'm steve williams and i am representing one of the adjacent neighbors, who has lived with her family two doors down from the site for nearly 40 years. the other neighbors also support the appeal. and as i was saying earlier, the reason for appealing the electrical and plumbing permits, which we never do, was because the site, they would not stop work at the site. and so that was the point was to try to get the work stopped
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at the site and as i understand it from the neighbors, the work is still going on. so, i mean you would think from the tone of the reply briefs that somehow the neighbors had done something wrong by bringing this appeal. you know we are here because the work at the site started without any notice to anyone. the work at the site started without any permits whatsoever. zero. the work at the site started with no plans having been submitted. now at page 8 and 9 of the permit holder's brief, the... the indicator state that perhaps the work was not started before the permits were there. but if you look at the chronology of what happened in this case that is impossible. the neighbors complained before watching the work go on for a number of weeks on december 5th. and the permit was then, they ran down and got a permit
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issued on december 6th. and this appeal was filed on december 7th. so that means that they had a permit for less than one day. and the photographs that i have, could we have the overhead? i need the overhead enlarged victor. >> from what the neighbors could see of the work being conducted, at the site, this was certainly not done in one day. these are shots that they could only take through the open doors. the entire building was gutted. as you can see from the new steel walls, the work had been going on for weeks. so, the implication that somehow they got their permit and they got them on time and they got it done, that is just
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not correct. we supplied the board with the permit history and the complaint history of this site just for a bit of flavor, if you will. and that is the exhibit 4, and exhibit 5 to my brief. to show that this owner never gets permits. a 40-year-old building which does not have a single final permit. if you look at exhibit 5, i set out there has only been four permits in the history of this building. there was a reroofing permit in 1991, when expired without being finalized and a sidewalk repair permit and a street permit and the permit in front of you today.
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and so, even with all of the tenant problems and the complaints that took months to prepare and for the 40-year-old building there has never been a single permit taken out until the neighbors complained about work going on and in the current permit was taken out. the neighbors filed this appeal because they had no idea what was going on. >> they attended a community meeting i believe it was on november the fifth and within a few days of attending that community meeting about the wireless antenna facility, the construction started. they had no choice, having received no notice, no permits and no plans, on file anywhere. and could not get any
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information, they had no choice but to assume that they were starting the work on the wireless facility. and i don't think that you could consult the neighbors for that and filing these appeals. i have been dealing with an attorney out of milbray and an attorney named eileen hawstien that represents the vocal point insurance agency and i was in contact with her and in discussions with her less than two weeks ago, on february fourth. so, you know, after learning through her i passed on the information from the neighbors that the vocal point insurance company was supposedly the tenant and we don't have the confirmation from the call from miss hawkstien and i relied that information to the
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neighbors and the neighbors then to find out who they are. and if they are connected to at&t in some manner, what they plan to bring to the neighborhood. so, and that is when they had their concerns raised about whether the tenant that they just learned, the vocal point insurance agency was in fact a tenant that could go into that space under the new neighborhood commercial district which had been passed for terivel street as of august 2012, and so, the neighbors concern shifted from this is part of a wireless facility or work without the permits to what about this new proposed tenant for this very large storefront? if you look and this storefront takes up at least a third of the block. if

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